BVI U15 National Boys’ Football team returns from Sint Martin with Fair Play Award

By BVI Football Association

BVI U15 National Boys team return from Sint Martin’s Soualiga Championship with Fair Play Award. Photo: BVIFA

Coming home on Sunday, June 5, 2017 from the inaugural Soualiga Championship hosted by the Sint Martin Football Association, the U15 National Team brought the Fair Play Award with them.

Starting play with a match against Barbados, the BVI team lost 6-0 to a much stronger, more physical and experienced team.

“We started a little nervous, let Barbados control the early stages and take the lead,” commented BVIFA Technical Director, Marcos Falopa, who oversaw the team along with Assistant Coach, Richie Morton. “Despite the early setbacks the team grew a little in confidence after half time and created some chances with an attractive style of play, keeping the ball on the ground.”

The Barbados game had begun at 8.45pm and the boys had to be back on the field at 11.30am the next day for a game against Union Sportif Marinoise from Martinique. The boys showed little sign of fatigue as they recorded a 1-1 draw, thanks to a swirling, curling goal from Luca Reich in the first half.

“I was shouting for him to curl the ball towards goal,” commented Falopa. “And it worked brilliantly!”

The boys controlled almost the entire game, keeping the ball on the ground with some quick passing and could have doubled the lead in the second half with what seemed an obvious penalty, when the linesman changed the referee’s mind.

The game against Guyana was like the game against Barbados in as much as the boys found themselves outmatched by some physical and skillful players and suffered a 5-0 defeat.

“We tried to control things and attack on the break,” said Falopa. “But they scored three goals in the first half and two in the second. We did look like getting on the score sheet in the second half, but their defense was strong and well organized.”

The final game of group play was against Stade Lamentinos from Guadeloupe and ended 3-0.

“Again, we had our chances, but in truth they were much better than us in their teamwork and determination to win,” concluded Falopa.

In the Medal rounds, the team took on Anguilla and came out 2-0 winners on goals from a free kick by Miquel Marshall in the first half and then Guillaume Parkins in the second half.

“The team played with much more confidence and improved technically and tactically against the more evenly matched Anguillan outfit. We also made some changes to the line-up and everything worked out well, with the players adapting and accepting new roles.”

Overall, Guyana were Champions, Sint Martin the runners up and Barbados placed third.

The BVI were awarded the Fair Play Trophy and Falopa was pleased with the way the team showed signs of improvement during the competition. “We came home with some valuable lessons and we will now have to look at how we best prepare for future tournaments. We need to be more professional, more disciplined and get more exposure against better opposition in order to be more competitive.”

Next up for the boys will be the CONCACAF U15 Tournament in Florida in August.

BVIFA National U15 Boys’ team ready for St Maarten

By the BVI Football Association

The BVIFA National U15 Boys’ team will participate in the inaugural Soualiga Championship, St Maarten from June 2-4, 2017. Photo: BVIFA

The BVIFA National U15 Boys’ team has been hard at training at least three times a week, including playing practice matches against senior opposition and is now ready to depart for St Maarten next week to participate in the inaugural Soualiga Championship.

Teams also taking part include Anguilla, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Barbados, Dominica, Martinique and the USVI.

The full squad includes: Ikyjah Williams, Giovanni Grant, Jalen Prentice, Jhamal Prentice, Guillaume Parkins, Alejandro Santos, Shamoi Dore, Marcus Butler, Miquel Marshall, Justin Smith, Sheldon Harry, Luca Reich, Mekhi Walters, Luka Chalwell, Jerell Frederick and Kahil Farrington.

The BVIFA Technical Director, Marcos Falopa, has been in charge of the training along with Assistant Coach, Richie Morton and so far, has been happy with the progress of the squad and is quietly confidant.

“Our target at the Tournament is to see how the Boys will take the training into competitive match situations and show how much they have learned. We will be looking for technical and tactical improvements from the team and, of course, have to decide what system works best for the BVI. We will let the boys play to their own style and comfort on the ball, but also try to play in spaces and develop their team work.”

Falopa stops short of how far the team will reach at the tournament, but is very keen to see improvements in all aspects. “If just one or two players show they are learning new things and put them into practice, then we are on the right path.” he said.

The tournament which runs from June 2-4, 2017, is hosted by the St Maarten Football Association and will be followed by the CONCACAF U15 Championship in August 2017 at the IMG Academy in Florida.

“Another important reason to put in a good performance is that we will be heading off to Florida to compete against the best from our region, so St Maarten will be the ideal preparation for our boys,” said Falopa.

The tournament, which will take place from August 13-19, is expected to include a record number of youth players from CONCACAF’s member associations in a competition format designed to provide valuable experience. All 40 eligible CONCACAF member associations are expected to participate.

IMG Academy sits on more than 550 acres and features more than 20 multi-sport fields, 50 tennis courts, a 5,000-seat state-of-the-art stadium, two 10,000+ square foot weight rooms and residential halls and accommodations for athletes and guests. The IMG campus provides an ideal all-around environment for CONCACAF’s under-15 teams to train and perform.

In addition to providing a world-class venue, IMG Academy will also offer training and development programming for the athletes, coaches and referees. Programming could include coaching education, athlete leadership development, referee development and cognitive and visual perception training.